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January 2009

New Year Blues Oh what to do...

As we stand at the beginning of 2009, things look more than a little daunting! That it is going to be a very 'blue' year for many is probably an understatement.

Does the Bible give us some encouraging words that might just chase the 'blues'' away? The Bible clearly teaches that while we are in this world we will have trouble.

Jesus said in John 16:33 , "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."

As Jesus was soon to go to the Cross, He was trying to prepare the disciples for what lie ahead, while at the same time He was telling them that if they kept their eyes on Him, He would keep them at peace.

Isaiah 26:3, "Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on Thee: because he trusts in Thee."

John 16:20, "............You will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy."

Firstly, with His understanding of sinful humanity, Jesus knew that His death on Friday would fill them with doubt and despair. He left them with words of encouragement, "your grief will turn to joy", so that on the Sunday they would remember His prophetic words, which in turn would give them confidence that He was indeed the Messiah.

Secondly, this year is going to bring many problems and challenges, (especially in the financial world) but if we will keep our eyes on Jesus and His wonderful promises, God will fill our hearts with His peace and joy.

The most important lesson we Christians can learn is that the greatest gift that God has given us is His presence. No matter what problems we have to face this year, we can be joyful knowing that He will walk 'through' the problems with us.

I think the following words are very appropriate for the times in which we live;

Hebrews 13:5,6, "Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you". So we say with confidence, "The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?"

Learning to be content in whatever the circumstances is based on building a strong relationship with God. As we commune with Him through prayer and Bible study, and as we obey His word, we will be in tune with God. This then gives the Holy Spirit the opportunity to guide us and therefore to direct our lives for His glory. The Holy Spirit will bring to our memory all the glorious promises that give us hope!

Genesis 26:24, "Fear not, I am with thee."

2 Chronicles 13:12, "God Himself is with us as our Captain."

Isaiah 41:10-13, "I am with thee.......... I will hold thy hand".

2 Timothy 4:17, "The Lord stood with me and strengthened me."

These blessed promises of divine companionship are worth more than silver or gold. While God doesn't always answer the way we would like Him to (like removing the problems altogether), He has given us something even better, His company! In all of our journeys, in good times and bad times, we are assured of the favor of His presence! This knowledge and this experience gives us peace, joy, and comfort in the midst of any storm that comes our way.

Take time for God and His word-----it brings Christ near; it washes the 'dust of earth' from our eyes, and chases the blues away!

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